Crispy Deep-Fried Flounder

Deep fried flounder recipe

The Spruce Eats/Diana Mocanu

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 16 mins
Total: 31 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
167 Calories
4g Fat
24g Carbs
8g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 167
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 276mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 8g
Calcium 117mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This simple deep-fried fish recipe is dipped in buttermilk and then coated with a combination of biscuit baking mix and cornmeal. In this recipe, flounder fillets are deep-fried to perfection—the crispy coating provides a crunchy texture and allows the fish to stay moist and flavorful. 

The flounder is a flatfish from the order Pleuronectiformes, meaning they have both eyes on the same side of their head. Any fish caught off the U.S. coast and labeled "sole" is actually a flounder. Sole is a good substitute for flounder.

Flounder is a thin and flaky, delicate fish with a rather sweet seafood-like flavor. Because the fillets are usually quite thin, it is often stuffed, rolled, and baked.

Serve it with your favorite coleslaw, homemade french fries, and make sure to dip in tartar sauce.


  • 8 flounder fillets (skin removed)
  • 2 cups whole milk (or buttermilk)
  • 1 cup pancake mix (or biscuit baking mix)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3 cups of oil (for deep-frying)
  • Dash of salt (to taste)
  • Garnish: lemon wedges
  • Garnish: parsley sprigs

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Heat the oven to 200 F (this is to keep fried fish warm while frying subsequent batches).

    Ingredients for fried flounder
    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu
  2. Place the flounder fillets in a shallow baking dish; pour in enough milk or buttermilk to cover the fillets and then set aside.

    Place flounder in pan
    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the pancake mix or baking mix and cornmeal; stir to blend.

    Combine flour mix
    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu
  4. In a deep heavy skillet or sauté pan, heat about 1 1/2 to 2 inches of oil to 365 F (185 C). If you don't have a deep-fry thermometer, toss a 1-inch cube of bread into the hot oil. It should turn golden brown in 1 minute.

    Oil in skillet
    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu
  5. Using a colander, drain the fish.

    Drain fish
    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu
  6. Dredge each piece in the baking mix and cornmeal mixture, coating the fillets thoroughly on both sides. Shake off any excess.

    Fillets in breading
    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu
  7. Add the fish fillets to hot oil and fry.

    Fry fish
    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu
  8. Turn once after about 2 minutes, until golden brown and crisp on both sides (about 4 minutes total). Fry a few at a time to keep the oil temperature from dropping. If the temperature drops significantly and does not recover quickly, the coating will absorb more oil.

    Turn once
    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu
  9. Drain the flounder fillets on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt, to taste.

    Put fried flounder on paper towels
    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu
  10. Transfer the fried fish to a rack in a baking pan and keep warm in the preheated oven for up to 20 minutes, if desired.

    Put flounder on rack
    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu
  11. Serve fried flounder hot, garnished with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs, if desired.

    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu


  • Quick Tartar Sauce: In a small bowl combine 3/4 cup of mayonnaise with 4 tablespoons of finely chopped sweet (bread and butter) pickles or sweet pickle relish and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix well to blend ingredients. Cover and chill until serving time.

Recipe Variation

  • If you don't have baking mix, substitute 1 cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Thoroughly cut in 1 1/2 tablespoons of cold butter or shortening with a pastry blender or your fingers.